Vaishali joins Pragg to become first-ever brother-sister Grandmaster duo

Vaishali & Praggnanandhaa
Vaishali with Praggnanandhaa. File photo: IANS/Qamar Sibtain

Chennai: Indian chess ace R Vaishali joined younger sibling R Praggnanandhaa to become the world's first-ever brother-sister Grandmaster (GM) duo and only the third woman from the country to earn the GM title, at the IV El Llobregat Open in Spain.

Vaishali achieved the feat after crossing 2,500 ELO rating points on Friday. She is the country's 84th GM.

The 22-year old Chennai-based Vaishali crossed the 2,500 mark at the tournament in Spain where she defeated Trukey's Tamer Tarik Selbes in the second round.

She obtained her third GM norm at the Qatar Masters tournament in October and needed to increase her ELO rating.

They also became the first-ever brother-sister duo to make the Candidates, the qualifying event for the World Championship match. The Candidates will be held in Toronto next April.

Her younger brother Praggnanandhaa got the GM title in 2018, when he was just 12.

Koneru Humpy and D Harika are the two other female GMs from India.

Humpy became the world's youngest female GM in 2002, at the age of 15.

Chess legend Viswanathan Anand congratulated Vaishali on social networking platform 'X'.

Vaishali was introduced to the sport by her father, Rameshbabu, who himself was a chess player.

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